College resources can be helpful at many stages throughout the application process.
Another service Stacy provides is access to numerous college resources. Signing up for one of La Duke College Counseling packages means the client has access to Stacy’s vast wealth of resources compiled over two decades of being in the profession.
Here are some college resources to get started.
College Application Sites
College Search Engines/Rankings
GAP Year and Study/Work Abroad sites
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I hire an independent/private counselor?
Stacy recommends fall or spring of freshman year to begin planning the remainder of the high school curriculum. The more time she has getting to know students and learning their unique qualities helps her guide them through the process by recommending courses, volunteer opportunities, extra curricular activities, and summer programs or internships, as well as helping create a college list to best meet students’ strengths, interests, and requirements.
How is an independent/private college counselor’s role different from a school guidance counselor’s role?
School counselors likely have little time to devote to meeting individual student needs due to large student caseloads, and is therefore more broad in terms of meeting those needs. However, an independent/private college counselor has a significantly smaller caseload and by working closely with each student will create a personalized college list, remind students of deadlines and registering for college tests, provide a complete list of items to complete for the college application process, and provide guidance to meet an individual students specific needs.
How important is choosing a major for college? Is it permissible to declare “undecided” as a major?
A college major is important, especially for those students who have a specific field in mind such as engineering or business. If a student has a broader sense of what they want to study but are not exactly sure, it is perfectly fine to claim an “undecided” or “undeclared” major. Some colleges may require a student to select a general category of interest such as humanities (English/social sciences).
How important are summer programs or internships?
There are a myriad of summer programs and internships for just about every interest imaginable: rock climbing, creative writing, STEM, etc… It is best to select a program that is of interest to the student, not just “to look good for college.” Many students prefer to take enrichment courses, college courses, or “get ahead” courses over the summer to advance in math or get a social science requirement out of the way, so there is flexibility to take an additional elective course during the school year.
When should my student take the ACT or SAT tests? Should they take both?
Usually winter or spring of junior year is the recommended time to take college entrance exams. Many test prep companies offer “mock” or practice SAT or ACT tests. Taking a practice test for both can help a student decide which test they prefer. Taking both SAT and ACT is not necessary.
What is the difference between the ACT and SAT, and do colleges prefer one or the other?
See the article below for reference:
What are SAT Subject Tests and are they required?
The SAT Subject test are one-hour exams that test a student’s ability on a specific subject such as math or chemistry. Some colleges “recommend” subject tests; others want to see scores if a student has taken an exam or exams prior to the college application process.
For a complete list of SAT Subject Tests go to: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/about/at-a-glance
How many APs/Honors courses should a student take each year?
It depends on many factors: students’ interests, ability level, extra-curricular activities, and a student’s amount of time to devote to more rigorous coursework. There is no magic number. Some students take one AP course per school year and feel challenged; others can be successful taking 3 or 4 APs per school year.
How important are extracurricular and/or volunteer/community service activities?
Colleges see value in students participating in school sports, clubs, organizations, community service, or having a job. The most important factor is balance between activities and doing well in academic subjects. Devoting time to activities of particular interest to a student (depth) is more important than the number of activities (breadth).
How long does the college application process take to complete?
Usually beginning the spring of junior year through the summer and into the fall/winter of senior year. During this time, students complete activities’ list, brainstorm and write essays, and complete college applications.
Stacy stays on top of current trends in college admissions and continues to attend opportunities for professional growth through credible professional organizations.